Herbs and Acupuncture for TMJ


Chief Complaint: Jaw Tightness

Western Diagnosis: TMJ

Medical History: 34 y.o. Female Doctor. Past history of 3 seizures while in med. school. Currently experiences bi-lateral, constant jaw tightness. She also feels anxious daily. Sleep is dream-disturbed, and she has trouble falling asleep. She is physically very active, good health otherwise. Four times per week headaches on the top of her head. LBP, achy, past bi-lateral ACL surgeries. Slight cramping with menses. Damp producing diet, low meat intake.

Questioning exam: Jaw tightness and trapezeus tightness leads to Gall Bladder stagnation of qi. H/A at the end of the liver channel shows the yang rising. The low back pain, knee surgeries, and history of overwork in medical school confirm the involvement of the Kidneys.

Pulse exam: Her pulse is rapid on the surface, but weak underneath. The left kidney position is the weakest, with the heart position following. Hara diagnosis showed tenderness over the liver (ST 25) area.

Tongue exam: Fresh-red tongue, white coating with a red tip. Raised red edges. These signs confirm the liver qi stagnation and yin deficient diagnosis. The red tip shows that xu heat has accumulated in the heart area as a result of the liver qi stasis.

OM Diagnosis: Liver qi stagnation leading to stasis in the gall bladder. Overwork leading to liver & Kidney yin xu. Liver yang rising is a result of the deficiency of yin. The heart has been affected by the stagnation of liver qi, and also her experiences in medical school.

Treatment Principle: Move qi in the liver and gall bladder. Nourish Kidney and liver yin. Clear deficient heat from the heart and settle the spirit. Relax trapezius muscles, and masseter.

Point Prescription: GB21, GB30, LV3, LI4

Ren Mai: Lu7, KD6, HT7, SP6, GB43, UB15, UB44, ST5, Yintang

Massage on back of neck.

Herbal Formula: Jia Wei xiao yao san, past use of tian wang bu xin dang

Lifestyle Prescription: Addition of yoga and dancing for the spirit, increase water intake. Lower coffee intake.

Results: Excellent results, complete elimination of TMJ. Also she has been able to go off her seizure medications with no backlashes.

email address: NeedleVT@mac.com

I had the experience that my jaw pain was food related.

My family started a new snack food–a sugar-coated puffed wheat cereal–and a few weeks later I noticed jaw tension and teeth grinding.

I loved the cereal and did not want to stop eating it. Finally, by accident I did not eat it for one day and noticed the tension lessened. By day three it was gone.

My youngest son told me “my lower teeth are scraping the roof of my mouth” and his problem disappeared, too, after I put the cereal in the trash.

According to Eastern medicine, some foods are more yin and some are more yang. More yang would be baked, salty, roasted foods. How do they puff cereals? I have no idea, but in MHO they are TOOOO yang (creating too much tightnes)


Ever engage in a sport that you weren’t used to? You’ll end up using muscles that you don’t normally use, and as a result will have a few sore muscles.

My guess is that this new cereal either because of its crunchiness or some other factor, causes you to chew in a new way, giving rise to the jaw pain. So, I don’t think it is especially the nutritional content as much as the trauma caused by chewing it.

Just a theory. :)


Last modified: September 8, 2009  Tags: ,  В·  Posted in: Musculo-Skeletal